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& # 34; Sunday car & # 34;: The BMW 5 Series E39 is casual and powerful

Arturo Rivas
'Sunday car'
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K almost 1.5 million customers have signed up for the BMW 5 Series the E39 series, which was produced from 1995 to 2004. Almost 1.5 million customers can't be wrong. And they didn't, because the E39 is a really cool sock. In December 1995 it inherited its predecessor, the E34 (yes, it is also very cool). The Touring station wagon followed in early 1997 and sold almost 266,000 times. In station wagon Germany almost a miracle that the sedan dominates as a body shape, at least from today's perspective.

The aerodynamic 5 series

Arturo Rivas
With rounded corners and edges, the E39 has a drag coefficient of 0.28.

On the outside, the E39 still cuts a fine figure in the 21st century, but when it saw the light of day more than 20 years ago, a murmur went through the crowd of BMW fans. For the first time, the double headlights are behind glass, and aerodynamics play a role in the design that was created on the computer. Thanks to the rounded corners, the drag coefficient drops to 0.28, but the cheers are initially absent. The formal language is too arbitrary, the car cannot be clearly recognized from a distance as a BWM. But design is fashion and tastes are much more volatile than the hardware than the hardware.

The E39 has some advantages, including the generous use of aluminum. The 5 Series is the first car with a light alloy chassis, which reduces the weight of the unsprung masses and the overall weight remains at the same level as its predecessor. A feat that manufacturers these days rarely achieve with a generation change. The stripped down body was used to protect againstCorrosion is also 77 percent galvanized, so that even today many E39s roll cheerfully over the asphalt without falling apart.

The wonderful year 1998

A not insignificant contribution to the “joy on driving ”is of course the engine. For the market launch there are two gasoline engines with 150 and 193 hp in the catalog, plus a diesel with 143 hp. A little later, the V8 versions with 235 and 286 hp in 535i and 540i follow. Like the chassis, the engines are made of light metal and were revised in 1998. Keyword: double vanos. This technology controls intake and exhaust valves variably, which means that the overall torque increases and the maximum value is already present at a lower engine speed. After this revision, the 535i, for example, has 345 Newton meters (25 more than before) and 245 hp (10 more than before). The maximum torque in the 520i (190 Nm) is 700 revs earlier than before. In addition, there is reduced consumption and emissions and thus compliance with the Euro 3 emissions standard (even Euro 4 in the 528i).

Arturo Rivas
The cockpit layout is clear, the instruments are easy to read. As is typical of the brand, the center console leans towards the driver.

The year 1998 brings even more momentum to the E39 portfolio, because on the one hand it is the The first common rail diesel was born at BMW (184 hp in the 530d). On the other hand, the E39 M5 sees the light of day and is the first of its kind to no longer be powered by a straight six, but by a V8 with a massive 400 hp, known internally as the S62B50. The series, initially denounced as a 'transitional car', has now proven to be a real technology carrier and does a lot differently than all of them before. So is the drive concept, because there is no such thing as a model with all-wheel drive - only rear-wheel drive is offered.

Modern driving experience, even today

Patrick Lang
Materials and workmanship are still convincing after 20 years. The pixel error in the info display is almost something of a tradition in the E39 and thus somehow a charming quirk.

Driving in an E39 also works in the Compared to current vehicles fun. The age of 20 years is by no means noticeable in well-preserved models. In regular operation, the 5 Series is a very calm and unexcited fellow who comfortably brings its passengers from A to B. The smooth running of the six-cylinder engines is a real pleasure and allows the driver to quickly develop a trusting relationship with the car. With a forced driving style, however, you sometimes invite the rear to dance while the machine moves smoothly over the speed range. In its civilian form, however, the 5 Series is not a sports car. The alleys of the manual gearshift are not defined enough, the steering too sluggish and the suspension overall a bit too soft. Nonetheless, the E39 feels surprisingly modern on the road, always of high quality. And that at a discount rate, because you can get everyday copies for less than 2,000 euros. If you want a facelift model (see below), you have to invest two to three hundred euros more.

A major facelift followed in 2000 and the model names went carousel. The 520i now receives a 2.2-liter six-cylinder with 170 hp, the 523i is now called the 525i and the 528i is baptized by the Munich 530i. The new headlights have the distinctive parking light rings, also known as angel eyes. The indicators are round, the rear lights have been redesigned and the bumpers shine in the color of the car. The fog lights, which are now also round, are standard equipment in all model variants. In 2003, production of the fourth generation of the 5 series finally came to an end, but not without setting a sales record. The Touring alone sold almost twice as often as its predecessor. As already mentioned at the beginning: 1.5 million customers can't be wrong, and neither are they.

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